Switching meds: Hi all, my son is... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Switching meds

Nychick31 profile image

Hi all, my son is 6 years old and is diagnosed with adhd combined and is classified at school as autism. He has recently been struggling at school with controlling his body. His teacher said it's like hes crawling out of his skin. He is currently taking methylphenidate 20mg. But I think it's actually starting to give him more anxiety and behaviors. He has a doctors appt. Soon and I wanted to talk to the doctor about switching meds. I've been doing research and found a drug called abilify. Does anyone have a child on this and if so have you seen a difference between going from a stimulant to a non stimulant. Thank you!!

16 Replies


When our child psychiatrist started with us we tried many different medication to see what fit our sons body best. While this was a challange and while we were doing it, either he not we remember any of they "bad" ones.

I strongly encourage you to work with a psychiatrist, they really know what is the best type, dose and timing.

Also I assume you are connected with OT and ABA training to help your child? These can help a lot and I think most schools have Occupational therapist. I think ABA trading is with private insurance.

Hope this helps and good luck with this journey, we are here to help you.

He has had and iep and 504 plan since he was 2. He has ot, speech and sees the psychologist at school. Thank you for your input I really appreciate it!

My son took Tenex and Abilify at age 8-10 and it helped him tremendously. He was diagnosed with "Episodic Mood Disorder, Unspecified" by that doctor at a Children's Hospital. He was referred there because he was being aggressive at school towards his teachers and peers. The school referred him to the juvenile office due to this. But his pediatrician and psychologist diagnosed him with ADHD/Combined Type, and ODD.

The school finally done a full educational evaluation and I found out he has a Learning Disability in Reading, Writing and Math.

You may try Intuniv for the ADHD and if he has anxiety/depression, try the Abilify. Everyone does differently on medications so you can at least try it.

Nychick31 profile image
Nychick31 in reply to BlakeyLa36

Thanks for the advise I will talk to the doctor about it and see how it goes!

If you don’t mind me asking, What type of learning disability does your child have?. We found out the same. More with reading and writing though. I don’t have the report so I’m anxious to see what it says. We had a meeting to go over it but it’s not the same with having the report. I need to get my son in w a neurologist to make sure their isn’t anything else going on.

He doesnt have any learning disabilities. It's more so his attention and irritability. If we could get his attention and behaviors under control he could be put back in a gen ed class. The slightest distractions affect him. And now that's he in a classroom with kids that have some major disabilities he is starting to follow there behaviors.

Hi. My son is 6 and we were on adderal for a very shirt time. He was not himself. He is on a non stimulant called guanfacine and we are now at 3mg. Is 20Mg the lowest? I only ask because at first with the adderall he was taking 10. My son did. It sleep that first night. I stopped it. We went down to 5 mg and he was focused but like I said not himself. I was done. Definitely look into a new mes or lower dose. Good luck.

Our son is also on the spectrum and struggles with impulsivity and attention. One thing we discovered as he has grown is how much anxiety affects his behavior, so I understand your concern. As others have noted, 20 mg seems like a fairly high dose. Did your doctor gradually titrate his dose upward or did he start on this dose? We found stimulants helpful, but also saw anxious behaviors like skin picking and irritability when stressed. The godsend for us was adding 1mg guanfacine XR, a non stimulant that works on the prefrontal cortex. That combined with 10 mg Focalin XR (we decreased the stimulant when we added guanfacine) has been great for our son. The guanfacine countered the negative effects of the stimulant and added benefits like really helping emotional regulation and executive functioning. Again, every kid is different, but this combo has really helped us. As was noted above, I think you would get more sound medication advice from a psychiatrist. Be aware that Abilify is an antipsychotic drug and although better than older drugs of this class, it still carries the risks of Tardive Dyskinesia and other health problems with prolonged use. I say that not to discourage its use, but to emphasize how important it is to have a very knowledgeable prescriber.

Nychick31 profile image
Nychick31 in reply to Aspen797

Yes we went from 3mg then 10. Tried a nonstimulant (atomoxin) in between and then went back to 20mg of methelphenadate . The nonstimulant just made him a zombie. Recently I've noticed him picking his lips and nails to the point where they bleed so I know his anxiety level is through the roof. I've been reading good things about mixing a nonstimulant with a stimulant so I will talk to the doctor today and see how she feels. Thank you for the advise!

Evergreen3 profile image
Evergreen3 in reply to Nychick31

I don't doubt the anxiety but the picking his lips and nails to almost bleeding is the medication. I'm currently reading Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for kids. This particular book breaks down each of medications and tells you how they work.

Give CBD a try first

Nychick31 profile image
Nychick31 in reply to Madtown559

Tried it, doesnt work!

We when from a stimulant to a non stimulant, it helped very little. It did not working as well at all, sometimes they do a stimulant with a non stimulant. We ended up on another stimulant and I'm happy with the results. Good luck to you.

Nychick31 profile image
Nychick31 in reply to Sabrousal

If you dont mind me asking could you tell me what stimulant your child use to be on and what you switched to. We tried a nonstimulant once (atomoxcin) and he was a zombie on it. Wouldn't eat and sometimes wouldn't even get out of bed. So I'm a little worried about nonstimulants

Sabrousal profile image
Sabrousal in reply to Nychick31

We when from vyvanse to intuniv

Nychick31- I really applause you for contuining to know the medications are not right and trying to find the right combo.. it will pay off when you get it right!

Way to go

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